Construction volunteers are the lifeblood of every Habitat project. Sponsors may supply volunteers to help build their house, but it is not a requirement. Some sponsors provide volunteers four days per week, others send them once a week or just occasionally.
- Recruit, schedule, prepare and confirm construction volunteers
- Educate volunteers about the project and keep them informed of progress
- Maintain a master schedule and volunteer records
Fulfilling these responsibilities efficiently will require the development of materials and procedures as described in the sections that follow.
Your cover letter will be one of your primary recruiting tools. It should be designed to provide:
- Background on Habitat for Humanity International
- Information about Flower City Habitat for Humanity
- Information about your sponsored project
- Motivation to sign up!
Click here to download useful background information, contained in an MS-Word document.
Volunteer Sign-up Form
You will need to download the following form and ask each volunteer to complete. Forms can be faxed (585-546-1549) or emailed(TPaine@rochesterhabitat.org) to Tiffany Paine.
Volunteer Sign-up Form
A signed Youth Permission form is required for 16-17 year-old volunteers. Please fax the completed form to the Habitat office prior to volunteering: 546-1549. Make sure the scheduled date for volunteering is noted on the form, thank you.
FCHH will provided a detailed confirmation letter, with a map and directions to the project construction site.
Which will include:
- Volunteer's confirmed work date(s)
- Information about the project
- Proper attire and what to bring
- How the day is structured
- Reporting time and location of project site
(On Tuesday the start time is 9:45 AM, versus 8:45 AM on all other days)
The Volunteer Coordinator should maintain a master calendar listing the volunteer workers signed up for each workday.
Your PR/HR department can use this calendar to advertise for more workers, and a look at the calendar can help a potential volunteers decide when to sign up to work.
Click here to download an Excel calendar template that makes the task much more efficient. The filled in calendar may be e-mailed to Habitat as an attachment.
You decide the best way to sign-up volunteers, here are some suggestions:
- Complete a confirmation form for each volunteer, including the day, date, and time the volunteer has signed up to work.
- Add the volunteer's name, phone number, etc. to the Master Calendar.
- Send the confirmation form and map to the volunteer one to two weeks in advance. Some groups do this via a-mail, saving time and postage. If your group enjoys making phone calls, you can call volunteers to confirm; this provides an opportunity to answer questions. Phoning is also a way for volunteers to help who would not be comfortable working on the construction site.
Suggestions for Recruiting Volunteers
Mail and/or distribute the informational cover letter and a sign-up form to everyone in your company or organization.
Set-up a sign-up table at meetings, events in a cafeteria or other common gathering place.
Posted calendars may be placed in a prominent location with someone available to answer questions, or a number to call for further information.
You are more likely to recruit volunteers by personally asking them for their help!
Encourage your most physically able individuals to volunteer early in the project, when the work is most strenuous.
Construction volunteers don't have to be members of your group or wok for your company. Spouses, children 16+, friends and associates may join members of your sponsoring group for a day of building.
General Guidelines and Helpful Hints
Once Habitat receives your volunteer schedule, we will count on that number of workers and we will prepare the rest of the schedule for that day. (Habitat builds several houses simultaneously, utilizing a variety of sponsoring and non-sponsoring groups and individuals each day).
Avoid signing up volunteers too far in advance as they sometimes forget they signed up.
Names and Phone Numbers PLEASE
When submitting your volunteer schedule to Habitat, please provide a name and phone number for every volunteer. This is necessary in case circumstances force us to shut down the site.
Available Work Days
Sponsors may send up to 6 volunteers per day, for as many as four days per week for the duration of their project. You may schedule volunteers Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Saturday. (Fridays are reserved for non-sponsoring groups wishing to participate; we do not build on Sunday and Monday).
Your Habitat house project has an approximate duration of 4 to 41/2 months. Some volunteers will come just once, while others may be frequent participants. Working people will have a more difficult time volunteering and should be given preference for Saturdays, which is the most popular day and the easiest for recruiting volunteers.
Half-day volunteering is discouraged.
Volunteers are expected to work from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. There are mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks, and a break for lunch. Volunteers may rest when they find it necessary.
Each morning, all staff and volunteers gather at one house for sign-in and orientation. After that, volunteer assignments are made and everyone moves off to our various sites. Your group may be asked to report to a site that is different from your sponsored project site. Please communicate this to volunteers.